Hiding From Relationship
When relationships get painful our tendency to move away from the person or the people who are causing the pain. Or if we have caused the pain then shame and embarrassment might cause us to want to disappear. The second was true of Adam and Eve.
Genesis 3 tells us that shame drove Adam and Eve to hide from God. They had been deceived, yes, but they had also bought the lie. They actually believed that God didn’t have their best interests in mind. The result was shame. They felt exposed, naked, and scared. So they hid!
Their physical nakedness was just a symptom of their emotional and spiritual shame. And yet, God didn’t leave them. He actually did the opposite. He pursued them.
God Took the First Step
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
God chose to use Abraham and made this one man and his family into an entire nation. They would carry God’s message to the rest of the world. God took a step toward David when David was an isolated shepherd in his father’s house. No one else would have chosen David for leadership, but God looked at his heart and saw a king.
The Pursuit of God in Jesus
The supreme example of God pursuing us is Jesus. 1 John 4:9-10 says, 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Over and over again we see Jesus moving toward people, the kind of people that others avoided. He wasn’t afraid of the leper who called out “unclean”, so people had a chance to put distance between him and his illness and themselves. He wasn’t afraid of notorious sinners (Luke 7:24, Matthew 11:19). In one situation he went out of his way to have a meeting with a Samaritan woman (John 4).
The whole Bible has stories of God moving toward people. The best story is how God moved toward all of us in Jesus. He said, “I love you first.”
Before we can understand what it means to move toward others, it’s helpful to believe that the God of all of creation sees you as so precious, so important, and so valuable that he comes for you and to you. He literally pursues you!
So what do we need to do?
Getting Rid of the Lies
Adam and Even would probably say, “Come out of your hiding place.” Let God speak to you. Let him cover you with his protection. Get rid of the lie that God doesn’t like you or that he’s mad at you. Don’t believe the lie that he doesn’t care about you. You are not forgotten!
Matthew 6:26 (NIV)
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
For today, just focus on the relationship that God invites you to have with Him.
- What are the things that make you feel unloved and uncared for?
- How do you think the Samaritan woman felt prior to meeting Jesus? History tells us that she had everything against her. She had a bad reputation. She was a minority and a woman (without much power in her day and culture).
- What would it look like for you to say yes to the fact that God loves you more than you can possibly imagine? What would it look like to live according to the great value that he places on you and your life?
If you missed the first day you can find it here.